‘New acts can be risky for mines’
Post Courier | May 20, 2016
NOW is not the time to introduce more risks tampering with the legislative regime governing PNG’s mining industry.
This warning by Chairman of Highland’s Pacific Limited Ken MacDonald is in light of pressure already being imposed onto the industry by depreciating prices.
He noted legislative reform among external challenges which posed the potential impact on companies operating in PNG.
“I refer in particular to the MRA Amending Act 2015 and proposals for a new Mining Act.
“The amendments to the MRA Act include doubling the rate of a production levy, giving the MRA control over the proceeds of that levy and removing the industry from any representation on the MRA Board.
“Perhaps more importantly a review of the Mining Act is being contemplated and while the situation remains fluid, it is important that care be taken to ensure that the new Act does not, because of lack of full consultation with industry and a full appreciation of the issues and ramifications of proposed changes, end up with legislation that discourages further investment in PNG,” he said at the annual general meeting yesterday.
Mr MacDonald noted that in the last year the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum reported a number of major players in the industry pulling out of joint venture farm-in deals and relinquishing of many exploration tenements.
Further the Chamber reported that grass roots or preliminary exploration had declined markedly since 2011 and it expects that further contraction will take place this year.
“In any reforms of the existing legislative scheme, it is vital that the PNG Government makes sure that whatever is done we set the scene for growing the pie, for it profits no one to be bickering over shares of a pie that is diminishing as we argue,” he said.